Recruit some help in job hunt

Question: I keep hearing that recruiters can really help me land a new job. Can you tell me more about what they do, and how I can find a good one?

Answer: A good recruiter (or headhunter) will propel your job search, producing faster results. They are aware of many job opportunities before they’re advertised and they use their business contacts to get you through the door. They also market or sell your skills and expertise to potential employers, and conduct salary negotiations on your behalf.

Recruiters usually work with competent professionals who have a strong chance of landing a job offer with one of their target companies. This means that you need to impress the recruiter first, and then continue to make a positive impact with employers as you proceed with your job hunt.

It’s important to find a recruiter who understands the demands of your industry. Personality matters, too, so look for someone who you can trust with your confidential job search.

One way to find a qualified recruiter is through word of mouth. Talk to colleagues and friends who have firsthand experience in your field. Another way is to read trade journals and industry-specific Web sites. You may also find recruiting firms in the phone book or on the Internet. If you aren’t referred to the company, learn as much as you can about the firm through newspaper articles and publications.

After you locate a few recruiters or headhunters in your field, send an introductory letter and resume, or call to set up a face-to-face meeting. Treat every interaction like an interview. Make a strong, professional impression and clearly demonstrate the value that you will bring to employers.

Remember that the hiring company will pay the recruiter directly for a successful job placement. You should never pay a fee for any part of this service.

Question: In a previous column, you mentioned that the recruiter works as the intermediary between the employer and the job candidate. Is there a service that works the opposite way? Are there agencies that would market my resume and work as the intermediary between me and the employer?

Answer: I believe that you are asking if there are agencies or consultants that act as your representative in the job market, working for you rather than the potential employers.

All established recruiters work for their clients (the companies) to locate the best candidates to meet their current or future needs. And while they aren’t considered recruiters, there are firms that represent job seekers directly. In different markets, they may be referred to as career development coaches, career guidance consultants or employment consultants.

These professionals work with you to perform assessment tests, suggest appropriate career paths, offer resume writing and interviewing guidance, and research companies that may be a good match for your experience. They will also teach you how to pursue and present yourself to a specific organization, giving you a better chance of landing a job.

According to a friend of mine in the business, these consulting firms generally do not guarantee a job placement. And while their fees may be too steep for some individuals, they offer a complete package of services that may be beneficial if you need comprehensive job search support.

Send your job search questions to

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Members of Gravitics' team and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stand in front of a mockup of a space module interior on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Gravitics' Marysville facility. Left to right: Mark Tiner, government affairs representative; Jiral Shah, business development; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen; Mike DeRosa, marketing; Scott Macklin, lead engineer. (Gravitics.)
Marysville startup prepares for space — the financial frontier

Gravitics is building space station module prototypes to one day house space travelers and researchers.

Orca Mobility designer Mike Lowell, left, and CEO Bill Messing at their office on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could a Granite Falls startup’s three-wheeler revolutionize delivery?

Orca Mobility’s battery-powered, three-wheel truck is built on a motorcycle frame. Now, they aim to make it self-driving.

Catherine Robinweiler leads the class during a lab session at Edmonds College on April 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Grant aids apprenticeship program in Mukilteo and elsewhere

A $5.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will boost apprenticeships for special education teachers and nurses.

Peoples Bank is placing piggy banks with $30 around Washington starting Aug. 1.
(Peoples Bank)
Peoples Bank grant program seeks proposals from nonprofits

Peoples Bank offers up to $35,000 in Impact Grants aimed at helping communities. Applications due Sept. 15.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Arlington’s Eviation selects Seattle firm to configure production plane

TLG Aerospace chosen to configure Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric commuter plane for mass production.

Jim Simpson leans on Blue Ray III, one of his designs, in his shop on Friday, August 25, 2023, in Clinton, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Whidbey Island master mechanic building dream car from “Speed Racer”

Jim Simpson, 68, of Clinton, is using his knowledge of sports cars to assemble his own Mach Five.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.

A crowd begins to form before a large reception for the opening of Fisherman Jack’s at the Port of Everett on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Seafood with a view: Fisherman Jack’s opens at Port of Everett

“The port is booming!” The new restaurant is the first to open on “restaurant row” at the port’s Waterfront Place.